Phnom Penh, 28 June 2023 - On the morning of 28 June 2023, His Excellency PRAK Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia, had a meeting with His Excellency Dr. KAO Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of ASEAN, to discuss ASEAN’s work in 2023 as well as the preparations for the upcoming 56th ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings to be held on 8-14 July 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
During the meeting, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister PRAK Sokhonn expressed appreciation for H.E. Dr. KAO Kim Hourn’s proactiveness and valuable contributions in supporting ASEAN Community building. He also thanked the Secretary-General of ASEAN for his confirmation to join as an observer for Cambodia’s general election on 23 July 2023.
H.E. Dr. KAO Kim Hourn highlighted that Cambodia’s successful ASEAN Chairmanship in 2022 made great strides in raising ASEAN’s prestige and profile in the region and globally as evidenced by the praise and commendations from AMS, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, and other external partners. He also shared his views and provided a briefing on ASEAN’s current challenges, opportunities, and future direction.
On ASEAN Community building, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister PRAK Sokhonn affirmed that ASEAN Centrality and unity must be strengthened in the face of a geopolitical landscape that is marked by increasing tensions and rivalries between major powers. He also expressed support for the ASEAN Secretariat’s commitments to strengthen its capacity and institution.
During their discussions over developments in Myanmar, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister PRAK Sokhonn expressed appreciation for Indonesia’s non-megaphone approach and reaffirmed his support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable in Myanmar, especially those recently affected by the devastation of Cyclone Mocha. He reiterated that engagement, dialogue, and consultation are ASEAN core principles and are required to accrue the required mutual trust, confidence and understanding to pave Myanmar’s return to normalcy.
On the implementation of the RCEP, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister PRAK Sokhonn stressed on the importance of establishing the RCEP Support Unit at the ASEAN Secretariat in a timely manner so that the Agreement can be implemented with sufficient monitoring and evaluation. He also took note of growing interest to accede the RCEP and emphasized that the added value that could be realised from interested parties should be a priority factor for consideration.
On supporting the realization of Timor-Leste’s full membership of ASEAN, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister PRAK Sokhonn reaffirmed the importance of providing capacity building programmes and human resource development for Timor-Leste, and Cambodia’s readiness to support these endeavours.
At his last note, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister PRAK Sokhonn expressed appreciation for the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E Dr. KAO Kim Hourn, for placing attention and importance to the ARMAC, especially as the Centre’s noble mission in mine action—which comprises of demining, supporting victims and mine risk education—continues to face challenges and requires greater support from AMS, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, and other external partners. END